Papa CJ: Naked (2 stars)

This article is from 2015

Papa CJ: Naked

Ill-judged routine lets down a comedian with good technical ability

'If cracking a few cheap jokes about older women or giving this lady a lap dance makes me feel better for losing my son, then fuck it, I'm going to do it.'

This is a show peppered throughout with Nice Guy™ mannerisms: Papa CJ wants sympathy for putting his first love on a major pedestal, deciding marriage after eight years won't do, asking for a break, then being devastated when she (understandably) moves on. There's also an unoriginal gynaecology joke (punchline: SHOW ME YOUR PUSSY) and drink driving japes described as 'epic'.

Throughout, Papa CJ removes his clothes, clumsily demonstrating how he's shedding his emotional layers by opening up to the audience, something he doesn't need to spend so much time explaining: the formulaic emotional manipulation makes that clear.

A show about losing custody of your son (due to Indian divorce laws which, apparently, heavily favour women) could be done with far more sincerity than this. Some jokes are crafted beautifully – he certainly has the hang of the technicality behind humour. While his end-of-show disclaimer is not wrong – he can do what he wants to get over not having his son – this ill-judged blend of misogyny and manipulation is hardly likely to get people on his side.

Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 477 7007, until 23 Aug, 7.45pm, free.